S is for stupidly busy #AtoZchallenge

Yeah, yesterday was ‘really knackered’.  Today, the word of the day is stupidly-busy (all one word, conjoined, dragging me along behind it!).  I wish I could say why, but it’s all coming together now so I’ll get to say something soon(ish).
Until then.

What to do when you’re so busy you can’t breathe (ok, maybe an over-exaggeration).

I find when I’m busy, or tired, or so busy I can’t see the end of the road, then I really REALLY rely on to-do lists and plans that I follow, step by step.  If I don’t, things get really messy, really fast.  So I totally recommend your favourite to-do list system to help.  And if you’re going to tell me next that there’s no way that you can spend time looking at your to-do list.  I say ‘take five minutes to plan your day.  Not only will it give you a sense of accomplishment, but you’ll actually have an idea of what you’ve got to do.

Fire-fighting or treading water?

One of the things I do notice with my to-do list is sometimes I get a couple of things done, a couple of things more fill up my list and it looks like I’m back at the beginning of my day.  But I know I’m making a difference, even if it’s a small dent each time.  But if you really are fire-fighting or treading water, you should maybe consider evaluating what you’re doing and if there’s anything you can do to make things easier on you.  Perhaps automating, or saying no to tasks might help.

Is there a place for to-do lists when things are slightly quieter?

I think there is a place for to-do lists always, but I think they’re more useful when you’re really struggling to find direction.  Some people find they help, long after you’ve finished planning, while others feel that it’s easier to work when it’s quieter without restrictions.  I like to-do lists and goals, always, but your mileage may vary.

What do you use as your to-do list?

I’ve recently discovered the joys of having a synced to-do list on my Windows 8 (Blarg!) laptop and my windows phone (equally useless, but cheap), but I’ve tried all sorts of wonderful projects.  My favorite was 30/30 which I use on my iPad, but there are other great apps out there too!  What are your favorites?


Edited later – – I got the following comment….
“Kai, I thought you were doing S for Scrivener”.
I was going to, but the issue is it’s a HUGE post.  I’m going to run it after the AtoZchallenge, so that people can find it more easily.

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5 thoughts on “S is for stupidly busy #AtoZchallenge

  1. Very useful post, Kai! I’ve used Todoist for my lists, but I realized I connect more to my lists if they’re analog rather than digital. I got a paper spiral daybook (of sorts) with space for appointments and to-dos. It’s really helped me get sorted out. I love digital for everything else, but this is what’s working for me.

  2. I do use notes sometimes to keep track of things I need to get or do but they do tend to get lost in the shuffle and I end up creating another list after a while. It’s an endless cycle of non-sense repeated. Oh well. I made it to your blog today and that was on my list, so I do eventually get things done! – Shelina

  3. I’m one of those people who WANTS to be a To-Do list person, but I just never am. I want to be organized and methodical about it, but once I see it all written down I get paralyzed and don’t know where to start. Or the second I stop looking at the list, I think of something I forgot to put on it and work on that instead. I’m a mess, but somehow everything gets done. 🙂

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,

  4. I love to-do lists! They really help me focus and relax. I like to do a “brain dump” first. I call that list my “Compost Pile” because it is not meant to be organized or in any particular order.

    From that list, I divide my daily to-dos into Online and Offline tasks. I mix it up between the 2 so that I don’t sit for too long at a time!

    Nice to meet another to-do list aficionado. 😀

    ~Tui Snider~ Dropping by from the A to Z challenge! 😀
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

    • Kai says:

      Yeah…I use the ‘inbox’ on my todo list, and organise it the next day – unless it’s something urgent.
      Nice to meet you!

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